I, like many, have been playing Syndicate quite a lot since it got released. I was a skeptic to begin with, but Jeff's review pushed me over the edge, and to be honest it's the best pure first person shooter I've played since the original FEAR. This is a game that really gets gunplay and the flow of movement, and I had just tons of fun playing through the campaign, and still having tons of fun now in co-op. It's a remarkably unpretentious game, with a pure focus, and it comes out like a real well cut diamond. It's just one of those games that knows what it is and trims away anything else.
So after a particularly nice online session today, I actually got kind of mad (I never get upset about games, right? ;-P).
The thing is, people love to knock this game's single player campaign. Penny Arcade even went as far as to call the campaign and the co-op game "two separate games" asking "which came first" as though the difference is huge. I just can't wrap my head around that point of view. The entire reason Syndicate is a game that stands up to scrutiny is because its mechanics, report and moment to moment gameplay are incredibly well crafted. This is a game where the story as a whole to be totally honest was not part of what I paid for. Of course it WAS, but in enjoying the package, I quickly came to love simply moving about and using the weaponry. That is what Syndicate is about, not the hero's journey.
So, please, critics, explain to me how a single player game, and a co-operative version of it with identical mechanics, can see such disparaging opinions? Are people so unaccustomed to playing alone that the mere introduction of other human beings is enough to wholly elevate the entire experience to the point that some will call it a whole other game? You are still shooting the same guns, at the same AIs, in simpler levels with less production value. Is it the progression that's doing it for you? Is that process of filling up all those progress bars what makes it a "different game"?
I just don't get it. It's as though the critics don't fully understand what it is that they are criticising; I know I can't have been playing the same game, because Syndicate plays 100% the same in both modes, barring a few more progress bars to fill.